Recently, the last of my grandparents passed away. It was a very emotional time for me. I'm lucky to have known all of my grandparents in my lifetime, and most of them through my early adult life. Losing my grandfather, or "Pop," as my cousins and I called him, hit me harder than the rest, and the memory of all of my grandparents came rushing back to me in a stream of emotion.
Pop was an integral part of my ties to my own family office. He worked for the original operating company, and continued to play an important role on the board of directors of the family office once it was formed. It was his seat that I took almost 8yrs ago. And it was Pop who really pushed to have the "next generation," involved at an early age. The look of pride on his face when his granddaughters showed interest and ability was something we were all eager to see.
The last time I was home, I went to his office. The process of cleaning up the office just beginning, my cousins and I were taking pictures of his pictures, and looking through his prized documents and artifacts scattered around the office. That's when I spotted the small booklet titled "How to Read a Financial Report," dated 1953. And I had an epiphany; even Pop had to start somewhere. Here was a step by step guide to understanding how to read a Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss statement. Pop, though terrific with numbers, had never been taught how to read these basic business documents. And there he was, in his mid-thirties, learning these "basic" skills, so that he could be a better contributor to the family business.
I guess my point is this - you're never too old to learn something new. Though I was lucky enough to have learned how to read business documents in my early 20's, I too had to start somewhere.
I guess I was more like my Pop than I realized. And I couldn't be more proud.